Remarks on the Redemption of Continental Currency
[Philadelphia, November 26, 1782]
That Congress sd. renew their call on the States to execute the Acts of the 18th. of M. 1780 and leave it to the States to level the money by negotiations among themselves. This was Mr. Hamilton’s idea.…1 One consideration suggested by Mr. Hamilton in its2 favor was that it would multiply the advocates for federal funds for discharging the public debts, and tend to cement the Union.
“Notes of Debates in the Continental Congress,” MS, James Madison Papers, Library of Congress.
1. On March 18, 1780, Congress devaluated continental currency by ruling that it should be redeemed at one-fortieth of its face value (JCC description begins Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (Washington, 1904–1937). description ends , XVI, 262–67). A request of New Hampshire and Massachusetts that they be credited for currency redeemed before March 18 in excess of their quota was discussed by a committee composed of a member from each state on November 26, 1782. The committee agreed that states which had redeemed a surplus of currency should be given credit for it by an increased apportionment on other states (“Notes of Debates in the Continental Congress,” MS, James Madison Papers, Library of Congress).
2. A proposal by Thomas FitzSimons of Pennsylvania for redeeming the public debt. He proposed “… that the Commissioners appointed to traverse the U. S., for the purpose of settling accounts should be empowered to take up all the outstanding old money and issue certificates in place of it, in specie value, according to a rule to be given them by Congress. The amount of the certificates to be apportioned on the States as part of the public debt. The same rule to determine the credit for redemptions by the States.” “Notes of Debates in the Continental Congress,” MS, James Madison Papers, Library of Congress.